Soap And Muzzle



Last night.

Fair City on RTÉ One.

SOQ writes:

Accidentally watched Fair City last night- they are actually wearing muzzles on it. No doubt the justification is that they are setting a ‘good’ example but they just looked really silly. No sign of them on the English soaps of course.

Do we really need a reminder of how bleak and miserable things are on a soap which is supposed to be about escapism?

On the other hand it did appear to improve some of the acting – so maybe they should all wear them all of the time.

Watch back here

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77 thoughts on “Soap And Muzzle

  1. Micko

    Yep, looks pretty silly.

    Can’t see any proper TV production doing this though.

    Works on a soap as no one will be rewatching them.

  2. Sham Bob

    What’s been left out of this post is SOQ’s well-documented scepticism on here about the efficacy of masks. So in SOQ’s mind, since masks don’t work, this post isn’t demanding these actors put themselves and their families at risk by not wearing them. For our entertainment. Maybe it’s time to wind the heads in lads?

    1. Micko

      With TV and film production is back up and running.
      there’s a series of rules that have to be strictly adhered to for production to continue like:

      Masks for everyone on set, only allowed to be taken off when camera is rolling (usually stuffed up the actor / extras sleeve when not filming – super hygienic)

      Weekly tests for everyone. Some productions have tests three times weekly for lead actors. (Great fun)

      Separate locations for all staff, they can’t mingle really. Along with one way systems throughout the set

      Anyway, it’s a pain in the bum, so I would be surprised if some FairCity actors said “ I’ll just wear the mask on camera” :-)

    2. SOQ

      Nope don’t buy that- there is absolutely no reason why they cannot shoot the show while maintaining safe distancing- that is how others work these days and besides, half of them were walking in with a mask then taking it off- so the point is moot.

      Ignoring the efficacy argument for a moment- people like to see other people’s faces- it is human nature and right now it would be nice to see some normality in a fictional soap- not claiming to slavish reflect reality.

      Besides they were never too bothered about real story lines before- what ever happened to your wan that was locked in a cupboard for six months?

      1. Cian

        Hmm.. Soap operas are reflections of normal life – albeit compressed into a small number of families.

        Soaps aren’t like real life:
        – they rarely/never watch TV
        – they never refer to sporting events (but since they are filmed months in advance – that is understandable)
        – they have no memory (every year someone dies/is killed on Christmas or New Years day) – but they never seem to look back on previous years.

        But they are hugely important to normalize the good and bad of real life. They have had storylines around:
        – first LGBT+ characters on TV
        – first gay/lesbian kiss on UK TV
        – disabled characters/stories
        – non-nationals characters/stories
        – self abuse/spousal abuse
        – living with HIV

        all of these are really important to society – to raise awareness.

        1. SOQ

          Yes well there is a wealth of human interest stories out there at the moment- which don’t include the incorrect wearing of face masks.

          Although I do have sympathy for the set designers because most of their stock of work would have been on home sets rather than public spaces.

      2. Sham Bob

        Ok, masks off and social distancing all round. Would you be then be giving out about the lack of escapism/(realism?) resulting from the actors standing over 2m apart all the time? Or would that be fine? If you’re not a fan, as you don’t seem to be by what you’ve said, why take offence on behalf of those who are? I’m going to assume Fair City fans aren’t children and might possibly feel uncomfortable if they heard someone involved in entertaining them regularly became sick while doing so.

      3. E'Matty

        exactly, and there is the added factor that absolutely nobody is using masks correctly. How many change their mask when moving from one shop to the next, as one Irish medical expert said was required to maintain proper mask hygiene? Nobody. Cloth masks used day after day, touched repeatedly and taken in and out of pockets are virus and germ spreaders.

  3. sidhe

    oops looks like dear old queen is #triggered

    if you’re getting offended by Fair City (lol) maybe you should find something else to take your mind off things

  4. GiggidyGoo

    They’re doing it in Coronation Street and Emmerdale too. They seem to arrive into restaurants/pubs wearing them, and then take them off while conversing inside. I’d have thought that wearing them outside was pushing it.

  5. Mulch

    FFS Bodger, is there so little content to post these days you are now giving this dope a platform to spout their views about masks? As Sham Bob and Micko say, there are guidelines actors have to follow. The fact SOQ thinks actors should endanger their own health so SOQ can have a bit of escapism is ridiculous and makes the site look farcical. Cop on.

      1. Mulch

        Spoken like someone who doesn’t have anyone in the high risk categories. There are older actors on set that Covid could be a serious problem. The majority will be fine, but that’s not the point. Imagine unintentionally being the person who brought this on set.

    1. Micko

      Actually, my point was more about the absolute absurdity of the production.

      Everyone walking around with visors on, stuffing masks up their sleeves when filming (the WHO would be appalled at the lack of hygiene.) Face to face for a scene and then back off with your mask back on. It’s a farce.

      You know the only time on set when you don’t have to wear a mask? WHEN YOU’RE SMOKING!

      That’s how much this whole thing is about public health.

      It’s all for show and jumping through hoops trying to show compliance for the insurance company. Everyone on set knows it’s absolute boopa-doopers

  6. rominick

    In my opinion people who wear muzzles don’t deserve any civil liberties as they’ve voluntarily ceded them to the government.

    1. Cian

      What about people that wear seat belts in the car…. Do they deserve civic liberties?

      What about people that wear clothes? Do they deserve civic liberties? The government is forcing us to cover up with pubic muzzles!

      1. E'Matty

        a seat belt protects you. The masks don’t and act to block normal human social interaction. Masks are a muzzle covering the face and a display of obedience by the mindless unthinking herd types “Look how good and virtuous we are wearing our masks”. If it were only themselves who will suffer the consequences I’d be quite happy to let them off on their virtue signalling exercise. Their subservience to voices of authority and mindless following of illogical dictats will be the ruin of us all, though such people will definitely suffer worst in the coming crisis. This is only the end of the beginning…

        1. Joxer

          its the space faring lizards isn’t it, making society do this? great to have you manning the barricades against them….

      2. Micko

        The seatbelts and clothes argument is really wearing thin Cian Everyone thinks those things are a good idea.

        You’ve made it several times. Think of new stuff please.

          1. Micko

            Are you hoping these measures with be with us long enough for all to think they’re a good idea and need to stay around forever?

            Is it just so you can say “told ya so”?

          2. f_lawless

            But then the real-world evidence became undeniable. There was a clear correlation between the reduction in road deaths and the period after which seat belts were introduced.

            In the case of masks, there have already been several randomised control trials carried out in recent years on the efficacy of cloth masks in preventing community spread during influenza epidemics. Conclusion (as per the WHO in 2019): little to no evidence was observed that they reduce community spread.

            The results of a large-scale Danish RCT conducted from Apr-Jun during the Covid-19 epidemic (the only one of its kind) are currently being suppressed, with various leading peer-review journals refusing to publish. The lead researcher has strongly implied that this is because their results have also pointed to no evidence of efficacy.

            In Ireland there’s no observable correlation between introduction of mandatory masks last summer and the subsequent trajectory of the virus.

          3. Micko

            “ no observable correlation between introduction of mandatory masks last summer and the subsequent trajectory of the virus.”

            Unless that trajectory is the opposite of what we’d want. Cases have been steadily rising since the introduction of masks in early August. ;)

          4. paddy apathy

            Cases have been steadily rising since August because lockdown was over and we were all out socialising again. Not because mask wearing was mandated. You are being absurd.

          5. george

            I am not hoping they’ll be around for ever but I don’t like nonsense from anti-maskers.

            Just look at the recent scientific papers on mask wearing and covid-19, please. The scientific consensus is there.

          6. f_lawless

            To reiterate, all of the several randomised control trials done to date on whether masks are effective in preventing community spread during respiratory viral epidemics, have found little to no evidence. It appears that you don’t appreciate that RCTs are at the top of the hierarchy when it comes to scientific evidence. Other studies are more prone to bias and therefore lower down the hierarchy.

            If you’re simply going to ignore these RCTs and assert “The scientific consensus is there” that would make you akin to an “anti-scientific zealot”. Please reconsider.

            Thread is worth a read:

          7. Micko

            To be fair George and Paddy Apathy, there is definitely not a concern us on masks. SOQ and f_lawless have provided link to several eminent scientist who don’t condone them. I doubt you’ve ever clicked on them as they contradict your beliefs.

            But regardless, no one is using their masks properly and they won’t. Touching them, reusing them, not washing them, not placing them in a plastic sleeve. All the measures the WHO recommends for them to be successful.

            All the stuff I mentioned above on the films sets is the same in in public.

            It’s all for show.

            Because the majority of people don’t want to wear them – they are only doing so because of social stigma and the fear of fines. Unlike you zealots who love the mask.

            Maybe you don’t like being recognised in the shops, maybe you don’t like other people, maybe you’re scared of other peoples germs. Who knows.

      3. GiggidyGoo

        Are you the same Cian that’s complaining elsewhere this morning about distraction/deflection? My oh my.

        1. Cian

          Are you the same GiggidyGoo that constantly gives out about other posters that:
          – refuse to engage in the debate at hand
          – attack the poster
          – distract/deflect
          – label other posters


    2. Sham Bob

      People with opinions like yours are why the government has nothing to fear from the current crop of anti-lockdown protesters.

  7. ACI Question

    If your show is meant to reflect the here and now then it makes sense to portray our reality as it currently stands! I don’t watch Fair City, can you hear what the actors are saying ok ?

    Like any good Irish person I love putting the boot into RTE but this might be a rare case of our tele being ahead of the curve! These episodes will stand as a snapshot of this weird time we’re currently living through and thus are now much more interesting artefacts.

      1. ian-oh

        Fair play Pat.

        Rather than regale us with whatever resurgent memory is giving you a boo boo, you have distilled the content of your posts right down to their absolute essence.

        Absolute tosh.


  8. MME

    Lol. “Face muzzles” is an improvement from SOQ’s love of the term “face nappies”. Baby steps so to speak…

      1. MME

        I think E’Matty’s comment was probably meant for another forum in a somewhat darker corner of the internet! Yikes.

  9. Dell

    I used to like broadsheet comments section. Now it’s just full of what seems to be cranky, middle aged, mostly men who seem to do nothing but complain about wearing masks and people not listening to their god Ivor Cummins. So what did you do during the pandemic grandad? , I whinged day in day out about my civil liberties being robbed and being forced to wear some material over my mouth. Heroes!

    1. GiggidyGoo

      It’s has a fair lot of trolls and people using multiple names too, many who show their face when SOQ posts. Must have been annoying for them then to have an item done about a comment made by SOQ.

      1. Dell

        @guggidy goo, more a complete bore than annoying to be fair. That someone dedicated a whole item to that level of petty whinging just shows how far this thing has gone.

    2. Micko

      “ I whinged day in day out about my civil liberties”

      Have you ever even BEEN to Ireland fell?

      Like, that’s what we’re all about man! A huge majority of our culture is about how we were oppressed by the British FFS!

      If we don’t have that, well… we don’t have anything.

    3. Fergalito

      Yeah, it’s a bit of a rage bucket a lot of the time. The same people endlessly engaging in the same circular arguments railing against authority or conspiracy theories or promoting them while hurling insults and using name calling against others for vehemently holding a belief that just happens to be the opposite of their vehemently held belief. Isn’t that the noisy gift the internet has bestowed upon us? To watch the petty divisions that manifest themselves from micro matter to micro matter.

      Anyone can say anything, even things they don’t really believe.

      There’s always a forum for self righteousness dressed up as intelligent discourse in the chum bucket of comments sections. No substitute for looking someone in the eye, nothing wrong with holding two opposing thoughts in your head. Mostly, a particular point of view doesn’t define you as a person. In reality we’re not poles apart just sitting on different points of the equatorial line…aren’t we all a bit prone to it too despite our nobler instincts.

      Yours hypocritically, etc.

      1. f_lawless

        These bitter divisions are a direct consequence of the government’s anti-democratic, manipulative and authoritarian behaviour since the beginning of the pandemic. I think we’d do well to heed the grave warnings of former UK Supreme Court judge, Lord Sumption, in an online lecture delivered a couple of days ago..Its focus was on the British situation but it’s equally relevant to Ireland.

        (Title on Youtube: “Government by decree – Covid-19 and the Constitution: Lord Sumption”)

        “..The British public has not even begun to understand the seriousness of what is happening in our country. Many, perhaps most of them, don’t care – or won’t care until it’s too late. They instinctively feel that ‘the ends justifies the means’. The motto of every totalitarian government which has ever existed.

        Yet what holds us together as a society is precisely the means by which we do things. It’s a common respect for a way of making decisions even if we disagree with the decisions themselves.

        It is very difficult to respect the way in which this government’s decisions have been made. It marks a move to a more authoritarian model of politics which will outlast the present crisis..

        The next few years will see a radical transformation in the relationship between the state and its citizens and with it will come an equally fundamental change in our relations with each other. A change characterised by distrust, resentment and mutual hostility. In the nature of things, authoritarian governments fracture the societies which they govern.

        The use of political power as an instrument of mass coercion is corrosive. It divides and it embitters. In this case, it’s aggravated by a sustained assault on social interaction which will sooner or later loosen the glue which has helped us to deal with earlier crises. The unequal impact of the government’s measures erodes any sense of national solidarity…”

  10. Clampers Outside

    All soaps… Fair City, Corrie, Eastenders, Emmerdale, etc are all pure misery porn anyway, so a few masks will add to the intended misery.


  11. Formerly Known As

    How about Ivor making out that NZ setting up quarantine camps means they are on the way to fascism. What an idiot feeding other idiots. He is a project engineer. It is a smart way to protect 5 million people from a small number with a deadly virus.

    1. SOQ

      Why are you so keen to report what is happening on the other side of the world just because you claim to be from here? On the hour- every day- the reason is?

      Just watched the EastEnders soap from England- not a face nappy in sight.

      1. Formerly known as

        @SOQ – I thought we had moved on from that question. I claim to be from there? – at least I am not Charger, pretending to be a sasanach. I did my time, watching Bosco, Gaybo and Wanderly Wagon, listening to Fab Vinnie, Phantom Radio, Mark Cagney, etc. I know in the age of Google, anyone can pretend to be Irish.
        Why is anyone here? Why is Charger here? I am keen to engage with you and others. I have a different experience and a different perspective. Don’t worry, I am getting tired of ground hog day. Some of the comments above help me realise I am wasting a lot of time here.

        The fact that Ivor has any following on the topic of CV-19 is a concern. People are vulnerable to shonky operators during these times.

      2. sidhe


        do yourself (and the rest of us) a favour. stop calling facemasks whatever peurile, childish name you’ve decided on today. it serves no purpose except to make you look… well, childish and peurile, which (whether you like it or not) does affect how people read and react to the points you’re making, valid or not.

        1. Steph Pinker

          sidhe: Who appointed you judge, jury and moderator?

          @Formerly: You seem to enjoy your life in Australia, good luck to you, it’s a very different country to Ireland though – and always will be.

          1. sidhe

            why, steph, that would be our good lord and saviour Michael D Higgins

            down off your high horse now. you’re every bit as sanctimonious and judgemental when the mood takes you

            you just happen to be a bit nicer than me

  12. BS

    Gemma O’Soqerty really needs a little time out i think. It’s horrible to see someone really not handling things well and spouting such absolute nonsense.

  13. Formerly known as

    I have copied the text below from the local Aussie paper (The Age). I think it explains some of the different types here:

    “I’ve been pondering about something learned in Psycology 101. Personality types. Those with an external locus of control will state that circumstances arise because of factors outside themselves. It is “the government / other people / poor contact tracing / absence of a QR code” which is the problem, and “them out there” need to fix it / change and all will be well. It is not so much about them blaming, just the way their minds work.

    In contrast, those with an internal locus of control see themselves as having responsibility for things which happen to them. In this time of covid they don’t go where there are crowds, do the mask wearing and social distancing, hand sanitise etc. They don’t blame some “other”, or look to the government, or technology, to protect them. They see it as their responsibility.”

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